7A—Victim impact statements
(1) A person who has
suffered injury, loss or damage resulting from an indictable offence or a
prescribed summary offence committed by another may furnish the sentencing
court with a written personal statement (a "victim impact statement ) about
the impact of that injury, loss or damage on the person and his or her family.
(3) Before determining
sentence for the offence, the court—
will, if the person so requested when furnishing the statement, allow the
person an opportunity to read the statement out to the court; and
any other case, will cause the statement to be read out to the court.
(3a) If the court
considers there is good reason to do so, it may, in order to assist a person
who wishes to read out a victim impact statement to the court—
allow an audio or audio visual record of the person reading the statement to
be played to the court; or
exercise any other powers that it has with regard to a vulnerable witness.
(3b) Subject to
(but despite any other provision of this Act), the court must, if the person
so requested when furnishing the statement, ensure that—
the defendant is a body corporate, a director or some other representative of
the body corporate satisfactory to the court,
is present when the statement is read out to the court.
does not apply if the court is satisfied that special reasons exist which make
it inappropriate for the defendant or other person to be present, or that the
presence of the defendant or other person may cause a disturbance or a threat
to public order and safety (however, in such a case, the court must ensure
that the defendant or other person is present by means of an audio visual link
or audio link, if such facilities are reasonably available to the court, or
that arrangements are otherwise made for the statement to be audiovisually
recorded and played to the defendant or other person).
(4) The validity of a
sentence is not affected by non-compliance or insufficient compliance with
(5) In this
"prescribed summary offence" means—
summary offence that results in the death of a victim or a victim suffering
total incapacity; or
summary offence (other than a summary offence of assault) that results in a
victim suffering serious harm;
"serious harm" means—
that endangers a person's life; or
that consists of loss of, or serious and protracted impairment of, a part of
the body or a physical or mental function; or
that consists of serious disfigurement;
"total incapacity"—a victim suffers total incapacity if the victim is
permanently physically or mentally incapable of independent function.